MDRA assists public, private and nonprofit project developers, agencies and businesses find, apply for and obtain public financial incentives to complete their project; fund a financing gap; or to create capital solutions for businesses, projects and programs. Requirements for meeting various public benefits in terms of goods, services, jobs, economic and fiscal benefits to the community as a whole and to specific individuals or groups, as well as other threshold requirements are identified.
Services include business plan preparation, application preparation, funding procurement and executing related transactions in terms of requirements, documentation and monitoring requirements. Funding may involve governmental, non-market capital and other incentives. Working with financial incentives in the public and private markets has coalesced into a highly successful, pragmatic and sophisticated “Incentives Infusion” consulting practice, which has helped make many projects feasible by helping to complete their capital structures and/or enhancing returns for project owners.
Matching Suitable Projects with Available Public Incentives
Either starting with the project which needs incentivized funding or with the announcement of new funding availability, MDRA’s goal is to research, review and match available public incentive programs with suitable projects. Potential public - private incentive projects must be desirable from a public perspective and comply with each potential incentive source Agency’s requirements, as well as be demonstrably financially viable. Each project requires research, background information and analysis in order to determine the right incentive fit – some of which includes the following:
- Identification of potential incentive sources based upon project type and location
- Evaluation of project in light of incentive source criteria
- Establishment of public purpose support statements for the project
- Identification and securing of potentially supportive governmental and community relationships
- Establishment of public support and private commitments deal points
- Preparation of incentive applications and grantor agencies strategies
- Layout of project land use review and approvals procedures
- Preparation and establishment of incentives’ terms, conditions and inter-subordinated creditors arrangements
- Development of project implementation strategies
Potential Incentive Funding Availability Report
When a project needs incentive financing to make its capital structure work, MDRA produces a Potential Incentive Availability Report based on the above information. The following information provides a glimpse of what such a Report includes:
- Does project meet incentive program threshold eligibility criteria
- Evaluation of project scheduling and incentives timing interaction
- Capital structuring and project financial performance with potential incentives
- Impacts of incentive program requirements, limitations and costs
- Identification of public benefits (e.g., jobs, training, community renewal, fiscal impacts, energy sustainability, environmental restoration, public access or open space, etc.)
- Preliminary incentive agency contacts and application planning
Subsequent potential work tasks include:
- Project - Specific Incentive Work Tasks
- Funding program(s) regulations and eligibility review
- Requests for funding / application preparation and management
- Funding Agency – application review, monitoring and interaction
- Negotiation of terms and conditions and inter-subordinated creditor agreements
- Transaction documentation, capital stack and financing structure planning
- Post development project monitoring and report preparation
- Creative response to RFP for public development opportunities
MDRA also continually monitors new programs and incentives, including the following:
- Pending changes to incentive programs to evaluate their business potential
- New projects by identifying types and locations of projects with high fundability likelihood and conveying that information to potential project sponsors
- Participation in creating new or revised governmental incentive sources and regulation writing
Notable MDRA incentives projects for public and private project sponsors include:
- A $240 million dollar incentive package for a 400 million tons-per-day mixed-office waste deinking and market pulp facility in Hagarstown, Maryland. Responsibilities included securing and processing State energy bond financing, environmental remediation, and permitting, which included securing a crucial Beneficial Use Determination for residual sludges.
- A $85 million dollar incentive package for the Long Dock Beacon project, a “Doral”-managed 166 Room LEED Gold Hotel and Conference Center proposed in Beacon, New York. Responsibilities included the structuring of a $39 million “Incentives-package” from New Market Tax Credits and other sources, as well as securing environmental and land use permits.
- Millions of dollars awarded to the City of Poughkeepsie, New York from a United States Department of Commerce Public Works Grant Program as a result of active lobbying at a Joint Congressional Rule Making Committee.
- Preparation of a successful 1st round HUD Urban Development Action Grant (UDAG) program application which initiated the practice of making subordinated capital investments in real estate projects to meet established public benefits.
- Small Cities Community Develop Block Grant for an economic development project which provides subordinated debt to Apple Land a proprietary day-care center as an economic development project. This project was the recipient of a national recognition award.
MDRA provides support and strategic services to clients which include:
- Evaluating a project in light of incentive source criteria
- Establishing public purpose support statements
- Identifying potential governmental and community supportive relationships
- Achieving a decision indicating that both private and public entities want to support an incentives initiative for the project
- Establishing public support and private commitments deal points
- Initiating incentive applications and grantor agencies strategies
- Identifying project land use review and approvals procedures
- Establishing incentives’ terms, conditions and inter-subordinated creditors arrangements
- Developing project implementation strategies
Current Trends in Incentive / Stimulus Funding
Unprecedented levels of public resources are being allocated to existing and new public financial incentive programs which target new, expanding and existing public and private ventures as part of the stimulus measures coming through Federal, State and local governments.
Public notifications of fund availability for these assistance programs are being issued, which require very fast application preparation and submission turn-a-round in keeping with their economic stimulus agenda.
Obtaining funding through these sources of project and program public financial incentives requires that either knowledgeable staff or qualified consultants need to undertake an intensive focused effort to define the program, complete application required submissions and procedures, arrange for program and activity definition, budget and scheduling, and arrange for and present all partnership and other participant or supporter documentation.